ST. LOUIS - The seven-year-old girl critically hurt during last week's quadruple shooting in north St. Louis is still alive. A hospital spokesperson told 5 On Your Side Sunday that Deniya Irving is in critical condition.
A memorial continues to grow along Beacon Avenue, where friends and family gathered to pray Sunday evening.
"She's still in the hospital, her heart is still beating," said Derrick Irving’s sister and Deniya Irvings Aunt, Erica Stuart-Loper.
At a vigil Sunday, the group prayed for Deniya, who remains in critical, unstable condition. They remember 27-year-old Derrick Irving and 24-year-old Jessica Garth, who died from their injuries.
“I've been at the hospital off and on,” Stuart-Loper said. “I stayed the night Friday 8:30 a.m. all the way to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday."
Deniya’s family is spending most all of their waking hours at the hospital, but wanted to contribute to the growing tribute of balloons, flowers and teddy bears.
"I came to put a bear down here myself because my family and I have not had a chance to hold our own vigil,” Stuart-Loper explained.
Wendell Phillips Berwic, or Phil as he’s best known, promotes his message through 3D artwork.
"Brotherly love, love your neighbor as yourself, there's hope," he explained of his artwork’s purpose.
The half-man-half-tree character is called Merferd and hangs from trees and along roadways as a sign of brotherly love. Berwic says he is a symbol of hope.
“That there's reason to go on," he added.
Berwic incorporated his character in to the memorial in honor of the victims. Merford holds a balloon on which the names of Jessica Garth, Derrick Irving, and Deniya Irving are written.
When people come across his work, he asks them: "to pause and pray for our city."
In response to the community support, Stuart-Loper said, "I had no idea what these people were doing. I thank them for doing what they're doing."
Stuart-Loper said her niece is on life support but that her heart is still beating.
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